Can we overcome the fear of nuclear energy?
Par Myrto TRIPATHI
founder and president of Voix du Nucléaire
Published in the revue Les Annales des Mines
In its report in October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized that the share of nuclear power in the world’s energy mix must increase. It pointed out the major obstacle to doing this: “The current deployment pace of nuclear energy is constrained by social acceptability […]. Though comparative risk assessment shows health risks are low […], the political processes triggered by societal concerns depend on the country-specific means of managing the political debates around technological choices and their environmental impacts”. Unprecedented efforts are being made to move civilization from one model to another within a single generation. Societal obstruction stems, as the report recalls, from erroneous perceptions. Overcoming it, which would open the way for rapid, significant advances, should be a priority, which is not now the case. The parties in charge of lifting these obstacles seem to have made them heavier.
A few persons (in particular members of the association Voix du Nucléaire) have decided to tackle the herculean feat of, above all, “informing”, a task that most stakeholders have sidestepped. Will our children realize that we knew this choice was difficult and that this was the reason for doing something?
A usual practice in trade wars
“Transmutation of the elements, ‒ unlimited power, ability to investigate the working of living cells by tracer atoms, the secret of photosynthesis about to be uncovered, ‒ these and a host of other results all in 15 short years. It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter, ‒ will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, ‒ will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds,–and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age. This is the forecast for an age of peace.”